Memory Tapes: Seek Magic (Inertia)

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Memory Tapes: Bicycle (Horrors remix)
Memory Tapes: Seek Magic (Inertia)

This hazy and sometimes hypnotic album is the project of Dayve Hawk out of New Jersey who also works under a number of other names. Memory Tapes is his sweeping, electronica-pop personae and this MT debut hits an unusual ground between the less outre Mika, MGMT and Empire of the Sun at the poppy end, and the more interesting experimental types like Atlas Sound (Branford Cox of Deerhunter) at the other.

He alludes to old school classical minimalists (Steve Reich, Philip Glass) as much as Jean Michel Jarre and a cottonwool-wrapped Vangelis also -- but mostly keeps ambient electronic pop close to his heart and at times to the dance floor.

By being neither one thing nor the other, Seek Magic ultimately fails to grip in the manner of those referenced above -- but among the bonus tracks are a slow boil remix of his Orchestral Manoeuvres/New Order-lite Bicycles by recent Big Day Out band the Horrors, and a 17 minute musical jigsaw puzzle piece “inspired by the work of screen composer John Carpenter” (who directed Halloween) which sounds like Hawk’s calling card for soundtrack work.

Seek Magic was released in the States a year ago and it doesn’t belatedly arrive with an advance guard of great reviews. But there is certainly something going on here and once the focus becomes clearer we should hear more and better from Memory Tapes/Dayve Hawk.

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